Palestinian Hamra, in the shadow of a lone farm threatens

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Dan Shayish, Micki Fisher (report), Tamar Gershoni for English instruction

We reached Mu’ayen’s home at Palestinian Hamra at 7:30 a.m.

He asked Dan’s help to start his car with cables, and in the meantime his wife and sisters would not let us go out on an empty stomach without breakfast.

We accompanied Mu’ayen and the flock of 300 sheep, and Zakariya – Rafiq’s son – who has a flock of 100 sheep.

Mu’ayen’s home overlooks Moshe’s ranch, the settler-colonist who took over the area and even changed its name to Emeq Tirtza. There are about 10 prefabs in his racnh, with a water reservoir or pool for his Jewish visitors to dip in.

There was not a soul to be seen in the ranch that morning – Moshe may have taken a break, for on other days he never ceases to harass the Palestinian shepherds and violently attack them.

Two days earlier, Mu’ayen was arrested because of Moshe’s violence. He was forbidden to graze above Moshe’s ranch, and the Carub Recon Unit memorial for two weeks. Therefore, he went up the steep hill and led his flock away from the ranch.

After the first rain, some early signs of grass are obvious, but this is not yet for the herds. Who knows whether this year will not be more arid than the last.

We stopped during our accompaniment in various places, as the flock spread out in the area looking for the first sprouts of grass.

Grazing went unhampered. We returned to Mu’ayen’s around 11:30 a.m., where we spread out hay and water in the troughs.

There was no special event to be witnessed, but one cannot deny the tension obvious in the air, and Mu’ayen’s internalized anger at the situation, even if not obvious.

Although no one was seen in the ranch, there was a feeling that the violent settler-colonists would show up and harass the flock, or that the occupation forces would arrive, and there is nothing worse than the insecurity and uncertainty of what any moment might bring.

Tamar Gershoni came with us as well, visiting Rafiq’s family, and she used the time to teach and practice English conversation with his three daughters who are studying either in the university or for their matriculation exams.